About a decade ago I thought I wanted to be a screenwriter. I mean really I wanted to be one, no thought about it. I had the good fortune of finding a teacher at a nearby school in college who was the writing and acting “coach” for Matt Damon and Ben Afleck when they were working into Hollywood. A few years later this eventually became him helping them through this nice little number called Good Will Hunting. More than once I was in his office when “Ben” called. It wasn’t cool or anything.
I enjoyed writing and actually had an imagination back then, so while it was school work I saw it as fun. I continued writing out of college for a few years, finishing 8 screenplays and entering a bunch of contests that guaranteed contracts with studios (at best) or a few hours of coaching with a professional (most often). I actually won one of the smaller ones I entered and got to sit with the writer who made Seven and 8mm. He wasn’t nearly as fu**ed up as you would think having seen the movies. He also was a dick, barely helped me, and didn’t pay for our lunch the 1 time he met with me for 2 hours (was supposed to be 50 hours).
One of my better movies dealt with my vision of the afterlife, an all out war epic similar to The Return of the King. It has a heavy theme dealing with our existence, the purpose, and the fight against pointlessness. Eventually it sought so answer what really happens to us when we die (still looking btw). I thought it was good, a panel of 10 professionals thought it was great, Andrew Kevin Walker didn’t and was a huge dick about it. Id say this was the crowning achievement of my Hollywood life, being treated like a stooge by a guy that writes bad movies that stand the test of time because he puts body parts in boxes or talks about kiddie porn.
I used to envision the afterlife as this parallel universe where a massive scale war was throwing down at the same time we lived our lives. It was basically how I explained karma to myself. Shit day meant the good guys were taking a beating, and that 75 degree Friday where the boss lets you out early meant Dead Tom Brady and his army pummeled the bad guys and got the day off from god, obviously Dead Bill Belichick. As the story goes, it is within this war where our choices and how they are executed are decided. In the war we had a parallel self who acted as the un encumbered, unrestricted, pure version of us, not corrupted by whatever environment we lived in. Basically this “us” joined the fight when we were born, got handed a gun or battle axe depending on the war theme of the day, and off they went. Always respawning, always living to fight, completely controlling the results in life of our current, tangible selves. Think of it as a sort of near future, personified moral compass, the result of their actions down to the last detail trickling into our reality.
How the worlds collided was something else, and I think the only reason Universal still hasn’t called me about it was it was basically 6 hours long…and I demanded on being the star. It has to be that.
As we wrap up the Lifestyle Challenge I urge you to take a moment and realize that this actually isn’t how the world works. SHOCKING I KNOW!! We have control of our actions and most of the results, at least have a hand in the ones that aren’t totally up to us. Challenges have a wide range of emotions through the community once they finish, from elation and pride to disgust and embarrassment. Being on the receiving end of the latter I can say I am absolutely speaking from experience.
I say this all the time and truly believe it, that the best thing about health and fitness is the next day can be THE day. If you fall short here it isn’t the end, our war self just lost a battle. My movie has infinite days, our war self infinite lives, like a real life Contra with cheat code. The one thing that should never be in your head is hopelessness. Regardless of your current position there is always hope to improve your health and it sure as hell doesn’t take much. One step at a time truly can mean starting with a 400m run. I ran a marathon, 2 in one year actually, because a nice day like today lead me to go for a run through the city for the first time. That first step lead me to some of the more trying and lasting experiences of my life.
In this realm anything is possible. The next time you are in the gym think about your original self as you started out. How many bands you used, how little weight was on the bar, how scared you were! If that you is right now because you just started, please do yourself the favor of marking this time and remembering where you are. In 6 months I will ask you to look back and remember. You will quickly learn you can shock yourself with how far will go if you just take that first step.
Strength: Back Squat
WOD : 15 Minutes, score is max reps through 15 minutes
20 Kettlebell Swings 53/35
20 Goblet Squats
Rest 1:00 after each round
The Program : Off